Rinehart commits $26 million to train locals and avoid unions increasing criticism

Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting is pouring $26 million to local training in the face of an increasing opposition to the company's plans to hire foreign workers.

The investment, reports Perth Now, is a contract condition for the company's plan to use an enterprise migration agreement (EMA) granted by Australia’s government in May. The ruling allows Rinehart's Roy Hill iron ore mining project to hire about 1,700 foreign workers to alleviate a labour shortage threatening the resources boom.

Roy Hill CEO Barry Fitzgerald told PerthNow that the company would train up to 2,000 Australian professionals, including 100 trainees, 100 apprentices and 100 Indigenous trainees. Two-thirds of the apprenticeships to be created will be offered to mature age applicants.

Instead of applying for an EMA, major miners have taken the bull by the horns and launched their own recruitment initiatives earlier this year. In April, for instance, Rio started an aggressive recruitment campaign to fill 6,000 vacancies across its 30 operations in Australia, the largest campaign of its kind in the country’s history.

MINING.com published an article in January about the reasons why mining professionals should take the mining jobs boom in Down Under with a pinch of salt.

Click here before you jump on the next plane headed for the Antipodes.

Image from YouTube.